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Waiting is the new Doing

I am too busy to be a writer. I cannot sit still. I am certain that my AADD has simply gone undiagnosed. Busy, busy, busy, is good- good- good. I posted earlier about how I am waiting for three writing related things. One of those was the WOW! Women on Writing Flash Fiction Contest results from the spring quarter. Well, they have arrived, sort of. As a result, I am laughing in a certifiable way and rocking rhythmically in my seat. Here is my story:

I check the website and my email crazily.  I was out for a while yesterday. When I returned there was a note from WOW! in my inbox. I took a deep breath and clicked. The top line read “Congratulations!” I could barely scroll down. Picture my eyebrows meeting my headband, my expression was caught between fright and elation. I wasn’t breathing. This took point 4 seconds total, and then I was scrolling. Next, I looked like this: eyebrows diving together to corroborate an attack plan, giant huffy breath escapes loudly, smile dissolves into tiny pucker pulled full left.

Congratulations! I am one of the top 100, one hundred, ONE HUNDRED. Now, in 2-3 two to three MORE weeks, I will know if I made the second round cut. Maniacal laughter ensued right about here.

It seems that God (I hear that saying The Universe is the appropriate way to handle this, but that’s actually insane) has seen my need to practice and improve upon my lack of patience. It is no accident that I have taken such an interest in writing. Everything about it is wait, and wait, and wait. I have successfully conceived, carried, and birthed three children in less time than it seems to take to hear back from one agent, or one contest.

Today, my house gets a full scrub down and my fall homeschool calendar will be completed, all in an effort to wait (I did not say patiently). Oh, those who are naturally patient have no idea how blessed they truly are.  Those like myself shall drink up the coffee that turns our planet and go jogging or something to keep the internal combustion at bay.

Migraine Madness

I had a migraine yesterday. If you’ve ever had one then you know how odd the whole thing is. First of all, it’s not just a really bad headache. It’s like getting sick temporarily. For me, there are twinkly lights that slowly move in from my periphery to cover my entire view. My stomach gets so sick. I tremble a little. If I could sleep it would be great because they are usually over in a few hours, but I am so uncomfortable that I cannot sleep. That stinks. This has been my first migraine in the year or so since I have decided to attempt to get published.

Apparently the experience is much different for a writer. I spent the whole time reigning in my thoughts. I had a continuous flow of book ideas, most were scary. I guess that I go dark during a migraine. It was mildly disturbing really. Also, the thought of beginning a new book is terrifying. Didn’t I just polish and ship 2 off this week, like 2 days before the migraine. Good night! What has become of me? So, it was yet another epiphany in my new view of things. I wanted to share, and to warn. You may begin to see some creepy pages under novel excerpts if I can’t keep them at bay. At least the writing will help to pass the time while I am waiting to hear on those full requests!

The Appropriate Application of Stalking Etiquette

Stalking is tricky. There are rules.  First of all, don’t stalk people. That’s how I look at it. I like to think of it more as stalking profiles. In the publishing world, writers are advised, encouraged, even commanded to stalk. We must know who we are contacting before we contact them. It is a brilliant suggestion. If agents are digging through thousands of queries and a third of those aren’t even something that they want to represent, then they are wasting time looking at junk. That is time that they could have spent reading a query that was a match for them. This is important to you if you are one of those matches. Agents have less and less time to really look at queries because they are spread thinner and thinner by the mounding piles of time sucking slush, slush that never should have arrived in their inbox to begin with.

So, we are told to do everyone in the writing world a favor by knowing who we are sending those queries to. Start with their website. Learn all that you can about what the agency wants in a submission. Then, chose an agent who wants what you got. Next, research them. Find out what they have to say. Agents often do interviews on blogs, writer sites and even Youtube.  Listen and learn. Find out who the agent represents that writes what you write.  Show  your agent-to-be that you know what they are looking for, and you have it too.

Stalking? Researching. Potatoe/Potato. Read their tweets. Follow their blog. Know who you are dealing with and then put your best pitch forward.

How He Found An Agent

I read a great article yesterday! It’s been on my mind since then, but I had a party to throw and my game was off. Now, I’m two cups in, gaining lucidity, and dying to encourage unpublished writers with what I read. OK, you all probably read it yesterday too. BUT, if you missed it…

You can catch the article here How Boyd Morrison found his agent. If you don’t keep up with Writers Digest, you should. Super Source!

Now, here’s what I came away with. Morrison, like us, was unpublished and on the hunt. So, he attended writers conferences. Writers conferences are full of writers (doy), some are published and some aren’t -yet. It’s a great opportunity to network. Then, there are speakers who will teach you something (hopefully) every hour about the writing world. I’m scheduled (almost) to attend a small conference in a few months where I will get to hear first hand from those who know about writing in 2 genres, and about self promotion, and several other important topics. Plus, I will get to spend a few minutes one on one with an editor. Amazing.

OK, so Morrison says that we can send our query in email or on paper to as many agents as we want, but the impact will be higher if we aren’t anonymous. The psychology behind this is huge. When we put a face and personality with a work, it means something. Pitching the same words to someone (not in Ben Stein’s monotone) will always go over better than black words on white paper. How can you really separate yourself from the other 345 querys sitting in their inbox already? Much much more difficult. Wouldn’t you agree?

After attending writers conferences, Morrison received requests for partials that he hadn’t before, and eventually, he was seated at a table for dinner with an agent who loved his concept, requested a full, and now he calls her his agent. (She really is. He doesn’t just call her that. Not at all like my agent crush.).

I am losing my virtue

Seriously. If patience is a virtue, then I’m losing it (not that I ever had oodles of it). Lucky for me, its not the only virtue. I can cling to my better qualities, love, joy, peace, (skip patience), temperance, goodness, faith, meekness, self control. Those, I’m all over. Patience, is a skill that I’m having so much trouble with. Life is a series of hurry up and wait details. Writing is the epitome of that truth.

First, there’s the writing. I settle on a set of voices to quell, and I begin their story. For weeks I pour over it every minute. For months after that, I fine tune it and edit and polish. Then, for more months, I research agents and contact agents. Here we go, and then, I have to wait. Ugh.

While I wait on that, I often start another story or go back to an old one.  For me, the key is to stay busy. Today, I have a problem. You see, due to unforeseen and exciting opportunities, I have spent the past 10 days combing through 2 of my favorite stories, line by line. I wrote to agents who requested to see them, and I sent them off. Vats of coffee and a beginning ulcer later, I’m waiting.  What’s worse is that I entered my first online writing contest a while ago and it closed on May 31. So, the site says give it 1-2 months before they contact their winners. Wahhhhh? It hasn’t been a month yet? How. is. that.possible?

You see my dilemma here.  I am impatient, yet I am waiting to hear about a writing contest. I am waiting to hear from an agent who has requested a full YA Suspense manuscript. I am waiting to hear from an agent who has requested a full women’s fiction manuscript. I. am. waaaaaaaiiiiiiiting.

This is why I homeschool. Yeah. It’s for the kids, but lets face it, there is ALWAYS something x 100 things that I need to do to keep up with on that front. SO, until school begins Aug 2nd, I will start pulling together my lessons, worksheets, field trips, coordinating snacks, recipes, extracurricular activities and classes, games, etc. I’ll be busy, but I won’t be writing.

I need a trip to the library. I suppose that this is a great time to catch up on my reading. And wait.

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